Fun fact: Jaguars have been known to eat alligators.
No, really. If you don’t believe me, National Geographic has some great footage of the powerful cat using its disproportionately strong bite to take out a caiman. That bite measures in at well over 1,000 PSI. And to put that in perspective, you or I only measure around 150 PSI.
You might be thinking, That’s all fine and dandy, Captain Animal Planet, but what does this have to do with your video?
Simply this: if for some reason you were not already troubled by the image of a jaguar with its teeth on you, the knowledge above should take that thought to the next level and completely turn your stomach upside down.
So why don’t we have that same reaction when considering the constant threat to our souls? Our enemy is far more deadly and painful, and the consequence is far worse than being mauled. (I mean, if I had the choice of losing an arm or spending an eternity in hell, I’m giving up my arm.)
What will you do to keep the enemy from sinking his teeth in? It’s not enough to just stand there and pray that you don’t get bitten: “Lord God, please don’t let me fall into temptation!” but not take any active measures to protect yourself. That would be the equivalent of a firefighter praying not to get burned before going into a building completely engulfed in flames–wearing nothing but his skivvies. Insane, right? But you and I are standing in front of our own imposing fires. Whether you choose to recognize it or not, we are quite literally on the field of spiritual battle every second of every moment of every day. Do you see where I’m going here, dear reader?
The fact of this matter is this: you aren’t called to just stand by passively, or idly live complacent in your faith life. We are called to so much more. The good news is, God has quite literally laid out the battle plan AND given us the tools to prevail, through His power and grace. Ephesians 6:10-18 says:
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; 16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”
Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. Perseverance and attentiveness in all these things. Partaking in the sacraments OFTEN. Consecrating yourself to a life worthy of calling yourself a child of God. These things, these weapons, these tools are gifts–they are powerful. They have been freely given and entrusted to you and me, and they, along with constant striving for Christ, will be the only thing that keeps the enemy from sinking his teeth in.
Take it from someone who stared the jaguar in the eyes.